If you are a Lost in Translation fan, you, alongside many others may feel as though you are owed an explanation for the whisper between Bill Murray and Scarlett Johanssen that takes place at the end of the film. Nobody knows what was uttered between them, and after 17 years of speculation, director Sofia Coppola has finally come clean. It is perhaps not the answer we were anticipating in 2020, but one we are grateful for all the same.
Clarity is a funny thing in that often when we are offered a piece of it, it's in our nature to want more. Coppola has only half-obliged in this instance, and when finally speaking on the scene that has sent lip-readers into insanity for almost two decades, she's still skirting around the topic.
During the fourth episode of BBC Arts’ Life Cinematic, a series of in-depth explorations of film for BBC4, Coppola finally gave us a morsel of the information we've been after, explaining, “I was thinking about the Italians, because they used to film and add the sound later,” she said. “I didn’t intend for it to be silent and then in the editing, we were like, ‘Oh it’s better if it’s just between them and the audience puts their own interpretation,’ it’s so much stronger that way.”
She continued to skirt around the topic, adding that she was "kind of stuck, like how are we going to convey the epicness of that moment?” she says. “But I never meant it to be that way, so some things work out in a way that you don’t expect.”
We couldn't agree more, Sofia. Just like we were expecting to finally come to know the words that were exchanged, but instead, only have the information to why you've been allowing us to endure this confusion for so many years. Thanks but no thanks, we guess!